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O'Rourke issues Royal demands


Colm O'Rourke

Colm O'Rourke

Colm O'Rourke

Colm O'Rourke will "make a submission" on the future of Meath football when he attends an interview for the vacant manager's position in the county next week.

But whether he is firmly a candidate for the role vacated by Seamus McEnaney in early August is not yet clear, and a lot depends on whether the requests he makes in the submission are met.

A five-man committee, headed by chairman Barney Allen, will hold the interviews in the coming week and they hope to have a candidate by October.

O'Rourke's confirmation that he would be attending an interview appeared to progress the belief that he was finally about to make himself available, but he said yesterday that his interest would be dependent on how the submission would be received.

O'Rourke has attended interviews for the vacant Meath position on two previous occasions, once back in 2005 when he produced a 10-point plan aimed at improving the structures and fundamentals of Meath GAA beyond just the running of the county team, and in 2010 when McEnaney was appointed.

In that second interview, he made it clear that he wasn't interested in the position himself but gave his view on the direction the then three-man committee should take.


Many of the requests in his 10-point plan could not be acceded to at the time because of cost.

O'Rourke has consistently spoken of the need for a full-time secretary/chief executive with responsibility for policy and planning, but Meath are one of a number of Leinster counties who have not availed of the funding for such a position.

Last April, as the knives were being sharpened in that failed coup to oust McEnaney, O'Rourke wrote in his 'Sunday Independent' column that he would be availing of the next opportunity to attend an interview and would be bringing much the same plan "in another showing of Groundhog Day".

Graham Geraghty has already stated his desire to manage the team, while John Evans, who is thought to be in Geraghty's proposed back-room team, is keen on having an interview in his own right.

Former Seneschalstown manager Damien Sheridan, father of Joe, is another declared candidate, while Paddy Carr, who steered Kilmacud Crokes to All-Ireland club glory in 2009, is also thought to be interested.

A further potential candidate, Mick O'Dowd, sought a nomination from his his club Skryne, with whom he was player-manager when they won the Meath title in 2004, and he may also be interested. However, McEnaney's predecessor Eamonn O'Brien has ruled himself out.

Andy McEntee, who is preparing Meath for next week's All-Ireland minor final, has not ruled himself out yet and won't make a decision about his candidacy until after that game.

Meanwhile, rising Dublin star Ciaran Kilkenny has returned home from a week-long trial with the Carlton AFL club in Melbourne, who are interested in signing him on a two-year contract.

Kilkenny has been a target of Carlton for some time and headed out for the trial after Dublin's defeat by Mayo in last week's All-Ireland semi-final.

The dual star started an arts course in UCD yesterday but faces a big decision, with a November deadline in the AFL for all squads.

His Dublin team-mate Denis Bastick won't be surprised if Kilkenny opts to pursue a career in the AFL, but believes the Castleknock youngster could return to lead Dublin to an All-Ireland title further down the line.

"I wouldn't expect anyone to stick around when there are offers like that on the table," said the Templeogue Synge Street man who, along with Jason Sherlock, has been awarded a GPA scholarship for the executive MBA programme in DCU. "Any of the guys who have gone over there have got great coaching, great training and come back better players.

"This guy is so young he could do that and still come back and win an All-Ireland with Dublin in a few years."

Bastick, who nailed down a starting spot under Pat Gilroy, dismissed any suggestion that he would follow the St Vincent's man out the exit door.

"I wouldn't be happy to finish out my career on that note -- I definitely feel there is more left in the tank," he said. "There are more wins in that team. Definitely. I think there are more All-Irelands in it."

Irish Independent